US Army recruiters welcome local musician to All-American Band
U.S. Army recruiters were in Hamburg, Berks County on Wednesday.
Instead of recruiting for the battlefield, however, they were focused on the football field.
Members of the U.S. Army welcomed Hamburg High School senior Tyler Walthers to the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Band.
The band is made up of 125 high school musicians selected nationwide through a stringent audition process. They'll perform at the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas in January.
"I had no words," Walthers said smiling. "It was just a beautiful moment."
Gridiron stars the likes of Tim Tebow, Reggie Bush and even Berks County native Chad Henne are among the high profile alumni of the Army All-American Game.
Walthers is also no stranger to high stakes performances.
As a trumpet player, Walthers has competed with the Reading Buccaneers and marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the past two years, but it's Tyler's pure passion for music that blares louder than any horn section he's played in.
"He does it just to be immersed in it. It's not a hobby. It's not a passing fancy…This is what he wants to do forever," said Hamburg band director Eric Francis of Walther's love for music.
For Tyler, the opportunity to perform on another national stage is more than just a chance to showcase his musical abilities. It's also a platform for his message.
"I hope that I can get across the board that music is essential in everyday life," Walthers said.
In a time when the future of music and art programs is uncertain, Tyler is certain about his future. He plans to enter Millersville University next fall with the goal of becoming a music teacher.
"To help other students achieve goals that they didn't think were possible," said Walthers of his plans.
In the meantime, Walthers is achieving goals of his own. He credits music for opening those doors.
"It just helps people grow and learn more," Walthers said.
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